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Crunchy Frog

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Member since: Sun Oct 26, 2003, 05:06 AM
Number of posts: 18,528

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Kratom Drug Ban May Cripple Promising Painkiller Research (Scientific American)

Compounds from the Southeast Asian tree offer hope for a safer opioid alternative, but research could slow to a crawl as the DEA steps in

When Majumdar and his team started studying the compounds in the laboratory, they realized all three molecules were binding to the mu-opioid receptor—one of three known kinds of opioid receptors in the brain—in an unconventional way. Think of this receptor as the ignition to a “hybrid car,” Varadi explains, and the opioids that bind to it as keys. A typical opioid such as morphine turns on the “electric engine,” and that leads to a desired effect like pain relief. But it also starts up the “gas engine,” causing negative side effects. The mitragynine molecules from kratom seem to activate mostly the “good” systems, leaving behind the unwanted effects yet keeping pain relief.

Although the kratom compounds have yet to be clinically studied in humans, Andrew Kruegel, a pharmacologist at Columbia who was not involved in Varadi’s study, says the results hold promise for better designer painkillers. “Those compounds alone may already be superior to codeine and oxycodone. At a minimum, if you can get rid of respiratory then you can save thousands of lives,” Kruegel says. “But we can tweak their properties to make them even better than the natural starting point.” Or they would do so if the research were able to legally continue, he adds.

Scientists can obtain a license to study Schedule I drugs but they are hard to acquire and significantly slow down research, says Chris McCurdy, a kratom researcher at the University of Mississippi. “I don’t oppose it being regulated, I just oppose Schedule I,” he says. “That’s where the frustration comes in, realizing you have to shut everything down because we don’t have a Schedule I license.”
At the moment, neither do several other kratom researchers, including Majumdar. “We’ll have to destroy all our samples in the lab,” Kruegel says. The DEA’s emergency scheduling of kratom will expire after two years if the agency does not move to make the scheduling permanent. But for that to happen, Kruegel thinks scientists will likely need to show further proof that kratom is medically useful. “That we’ll have any progress in the next two years is very unlikely,” he says.

Much more at link.


This policy kind makes a mockery of all the recent handrwinging about the "opioid epidemic"

Signed the petition. Thank you for posting.

I've never tried it, and only recently become aware of its existence, but am nevertheless following this story very closely. It seems like this herb is helping an awful lot of people who would otherwise be in intractible pain, have substance abuse or addiction issues, or problems with depression and anxiety.

As someone who suffers from chronic, treatment resistant depression and anxiety, it's possible that I could have gotten help from this, where I have not been helped by any pharmacueticals out there, and now I will probably never have the chance to find out.

Some good places to follow this issue:

The facebook page for the American Kratom Association, https://www.facebook.com/Americankratomassociation/

A couple of good videos:

This should be of interest to anyone who is concerned about the overreach of th DEA and the drug war, whether or not you're an active user. Let's keep this kicked.
Posted by Crunchy Frog | Sun Sep 4, 2016, 03:18 AM (0 replies)

Yes, there's a mass hysteria going on in this country right now

concerning prescription pain medications.

There's a "crisis" and an "epidemic" of unimaginable proportions.

I'm sorry that you're having to deal with this bullshit.

Just be grateful that you're not a chronic pain patient. They are literally being treated like criminals, getting cut off of their medications, some of them turning to street drugs, others to suicide. It's insanity.

Hope you're feeling better very soon.

A little Eddie Eagle reality check.

Probably because of the relative dearth of good female characters.

There's alot fewer female "Hermiones" than there are male "James Bonds".

Oh, and BTW, they were originally going to cast Susan Hayward in the role.
Posted by Crunchy Frog | Tue Jun 7, 2016, 10:42 PM (1 replies)

I wanted to reply to this. Sorry it took me awhile.

The "therapist" who diagnosed me (still unlicensed, and in training at the time) more than likely graduated near the top of her class, at least I would guess, based on what I've seen of her internet presence. She seems like an overachieving, eager beaver type.

I am indeed female, and have become aware of the fact that Borderline PD is currently an "in" diagnosis. I was diagnosed with PD NOS. I'm about as far from having "borderline" features as you could get. She was not my therapist, and it was really not about "opening up and trusting" her. My encounter with her lasted a grand total of 90 minutes, which included filling out paperwork and signing forms. She was the person who did my intake at a "largest (regional) provider of outpatient mental health services" and a "training center of excellence for (local area) students".

She gave me one other highly stigmatizing misdiagnosis as well, which I fought for months to get removed from my record. I only found out about this PD diagnosis after receiving the first installment of my clinical record, in what has been a four month long struggle to extract my records from this facility.

Both the PD diagnosis, and the other one, were purely gratuitous, playing no role in any 3rd party reimbursement, and no role in my actual treatment. The diagnosis utilized for reimbursement purposes was Major Depressive Disorder (which was my presenting complaint). I think she made the diagnoses just because she could. A big ego, no meaningful supervision, and an institutional culture that promotes and encourages a careless and cavalier attitude towards making DSM diagnoses among the student therapists (personal communication with clinical director).

There were not even any diagnostic assessments done. There was a mental status exam, a biopsychosocial history, and a few screening questionnaires. According to the clinic director, the students are encouraged to make DSM diagnoses based on their "impressions" and their "feelings", and are not encouraged to check their "diagnoses" against anything so pedestrian as the DSM criteria or actual diagnostic assessment instruments.

I had an opportunity today to look at my electronic records. There is literally nothing there. There is the raw data from the screenings and assessments, and the list of diagnoses, without any kind of analysis or interpretation, or anything that connects the raw data to the diagnoses. No lists of signs, symptoms, or rationales for the diagnoses either (apart from a very brief rationale for the primary one). I personally find this mindboggling, but the clinical director says that this is normal and accepted practice in the mental health field, though I have found no evidence to corroborate this claim, other than his word.

This is only the tip of the iceberg of the weird shit that I've dealt with in my 15 months as a patient or "client" at this facility.

I apologize for dumping all this on you. It's really not topical to the subject of your thread. I only formally terminated as a patient there 1 1/2 weeks ago, and am still feeling extremely raw from the experience. I'm still trying to figure out where to go from here. I really want to file some formal complaints for professional misconduct, as I feel that has been going on in spades, but don't know whether this is a good idea or not.

This is my first and last foray into utilizing Medicaid to pay for mental health services. I will be scraping up the money to pay for it out of pocket from now on.

Again, I apologize for straying so far from the subject of your thread and using it to process my recent, traumatic health care experiences.

Anyone reading this who is a mental health professional, I would be very interested in your feedback, if you wish to PM me.

I know this will be an extremely unpopular view here, but

I'm glad that she wrote the article that she did. She had a first hand experience and she reported on it.

I'm from Colorado, and though I'm not currently living there, I'm still a registered voter, and I voted in favor of this legalization bill, but I think her article points up some serious flaws in the enactment of this law.

As nearly as I can tell, they are manufacturing and marketing candy laced with pot, and they are not packaging it with the most basic labeling or information about drug potencies, dosage sizes, expected effects or potential side effects or risks. No other drug is marketed and sold that way.

Your prescription from the pharmacy comes with detailed information about the how much drug there is, how much you are supposed to take, at what intervals, and warnings and possible side effects. Your doctor and/or pharmacist will council you extensively, especially if it is a potent or potentially risky substance, and no, you are not expected to do your own research (though I do in fact believe that's a good idea).

Under the new conditions, there will likely be a fair number of novices trying this drug. For someone who knows little or nothing about it, it is by no means obvious or intuitive that one sixteenth of a candy bar is a single dose, or that ingested pot is more potent and longer lasting than inhaled pot. When people purchase something openly, legally, and over the counter, there is an assumption that it is either safe, or that it will be labeled with appropriate warnings and instructions. The "rules of the game" are vastly different under a system of open, legal sales than they are when sales are illegal.

Dowd may have displayed naivete, but I'd be willing to bet that it is not that uncommon of a naivete among the uninitiated, and that she is far from the only person who has had or will have a similar experience.

As a journalist, it's not her job to protect the interests of a particular industry. It is her job to point out potential problems with that industry where she encounters them. She did a good job. These issues are real, and they are serious, and that's completely irrespective of how much you may hate her.

This shit needs to be far more strongly regulated. If this doesn't happen, the legalization experiment may end up failing, and you'll have to go back to buying your precious pot on the street.

I don't care how much the messenger is hated, the message matters.

Now please hate on me all you want.

Posted by Crunchy Frog | Fri Jun 6, 2014, 01:08 AM (4 replies)

Tom Tomorrow. Hopefully this is now on topic and won't get locked.

"Plain Facts for Old and Young" by John Harvey Kellog. The scientific thinking

behind the original push for medicalized circumcision in this country.

Israel arrests extremists for tracking IDF forces in West Bank. Haaretz

By Chaim Levinson


Security forces arrested prominent right-wing activists in the West Bank early Thursday, over suspicions they had been monitoring Israel Defense Forces in the region.

Netanyahu approved issuing administrative detention orders for the Jewish extremists, as is usually done with Palestinians suspected of being a security risk. Moreover, the prime minister approved trying the Jewish activists in military courts, which would effectively expedite their sentencing and make their punishment more severe.

Early Thursday, a joint operation by Israel Police and Shin Bet forces arrested six right-wing activists, over suspicions that they had gathered intelligence on IDF movements in the West Bank. The arrests took place in Jerusalem as well as in West Bank settlements of Yitzhar, Itamar, Harsha, and Kiryat Arba.

A person close to those arrested said that "the police have gone mad. They don't have a clue who attacked the Benyamin commander, and anyone who texts about seeing a jeep is being arrested."

Things could start getting interesting.
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